Postmasters are still experiencing accounting shortfalls due to glitches with Post Office’s (PO) Horizon till system.
Providing evidence this month as part of the latest inquiry into the historic errors, postmaster Shann Brede cited an incident where a customer received a £100 bank deposit in error from a transaction made by a previous customer. “I’ve been keeping records since September 2019 and I’m still having big losses. I was £800 short in one month.”
A PO spokesperson said: “In the group civil litigation, the current Horizon system was found to be robust relative to comparable systems. But we are not complacent about that.
“Helping any postmaster who experiences problems is at the forefront of changes we have been making. While it’s not appropriate for us to comment on a specific individual postmaster’s experience, we are keen and able to provide help and support either via their dedicated area manager or via our new branch support centre.”
The National Federation of Subpostmasters (NFSP) was also criticised for “rounding on” subpostmasters who criticised the Horizon system on social media.
An NFSP spokesperson said: “The NFSP is actively involved in the Horizon Inquiry. Our CEO has met with the Inquiry Chair for an initial conversation and we will provide a written submission in response to the ‘call for evidence’.
“We are also working with the Inquiry secretariat to encourage subpostmasters to take part using all our communications channels – including The SubPostmaster magazine, direct emails and our social media groups.
“An NFSP representative attended the session on Friday as a spectator and we hope to attend further sessions to hear about subpostmasters’ experiences. We are encouraging NFSP members to participate in the sessions if they wish to share their own experiences.
“In terms of the criticisms levelled at the NFSP during Friday’s session in relation to social media, we understand that a few years ago, there were disagreements within certain pockets of Post Office-related social media. The NFSP does not believe in “rounding on” those that disagree with us. Our aim is to provide representation and support for subpostmasters.
“For that reason, the NFSP has set up its own social media groups – a network of regional WhatsApp groups and, most recently, a members-only Facebook group. These forums are safe spaces for subpostmasters to voice their opinions, raise issues, ask questions and share information. On occasion this can involve disagreement with or criticism of the NFSP, which is always engaged with constructively and openly by NFSP representatives and staff.”